The Blanco County News` lack of coverage of the crisis resulting from PEC Board`s illegal and wasteful actions is most disappointing. Despite extensive coverage by Austin and San Antonio dailies, the News offers no reporting about the reprehensible state of affairs of our electric cooperative. You have only published periodic propaganda pieces from the PEC directorate describing cosmetic responses instead of the deep reforms that are called for, and with no added comment by your newspaper. The least you might do would be to interview some of the local activists who have bee so instrumental in combating the corrupt practices of the PEC Board. For beginners, you might consult the group (pec4u.org) to gain some insights into PEC Board`s history of cronyism, bloated salaries, tax violations and other nefarious actions that are under review by prosecutors and the Texas Attorney General´s office.
Whether you report it or not, your readers (including me) are being fleeced by own own cooperative: not by the hard working employees but by the members of the Board who should be our first line of accountability. The PEC Board lavishes honoraria and benefits on its members for no apparent reason; employs administrators who earn three times the salary of US Congressmen, and who are hired without some much as public posting of the position; pays fathom directors for doing nothing; and engages in a host of other actions that are not transparent to the membership or beneficial to the Cooperative.
Although there have been a multitude of calls for the PEC Board to resign en masse, their only response has been to evade criticism by revising bylaws. Calls by the Attorney General for an audit by the State of Texas were countered by the announcement that PEC would hire an independent auditor of national repute. At first blush this may seem an acceptable alternative, but we must examine the terms of reference for the independent auditor, as that firm will scrutinize only what information the Board decides. For this action to be legitimate, the Board should submit the auditor`s terms of reference to the Attorney General`s office for approval, to see if it complies with more comprehensive auditing standards. One must question why the PEC Board fears a State audit, perhaps the egregious behaviors exposed by the civil law suit (which also goes unreported by the News) are just the tip of an iceberg of disgraceful activity.
Given the negligent (or complicit?) behavior of the PEC Board, the Blanco County News can and should be a voice for change. Your readers expect and deserve more.